The Enterprise Europe Network Türkiye National Meeting Held at Odakule Fazıl Zobu Assembly Hall

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The Enterprise Europe Network , of which the Istanbul Chamber of Industry (ICI) has been a part since 2008, held its Türkiye National Meeting at the Odakule Fazıl Zobu Assembly Hall. The meeting hosted by Erdal Bahçıvan, Chairman of the Board of Directors ICI was attended by the President of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organization (KOSGEB) Ahmet Serdar İbrahimcioğlu, Sector Manager of the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency (EISMEA) Muriel de Grande, and Türkiye Responsible of the European Innovation Council and SME Executive Agency Georgios Roussos.

In addition to enabling significant development for SMEs, the national meeting of Enterprise Europe Network , which plays an important role in improving service quality for companies, was attended by ICI Members of Board of Directors Kemal Akar, Celal Kaya, and Murat Çökmez. Throughout the day-long event, representatives of consortium member organizations of the European Enterprise Network conducted presentations outlining their activities. 

Speaking at the opening of the Enterprise Europe Network Türkiye National Meeting, Erdal Bahçıvan, ICI Chairman, said:

İSO Yönetim Kurulu Başkanı
Erdal Bahçıvan

" As the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, our journey that began in 2003 as the EU Information Center has continued as a part of the Enterprise Europe Network since 2008. Bringing together hundreds of organizations from around the world with different structures under common goals and objectives is not an easy task. The Enterprise Europe Network has successfully facilitated this partnership with its constantly evolving content for 16 years. We are pleased to be a part of this project and would like to express our great satisfaction in being involved.

During this process, I would like to extend my gratitude to our esteemed consortium partners, KOSGEB and Sabancı University, with whom we collaborated under the name IST-BUSSINOVA. Additionally, I would like to thank KOSGEB for their invaluable support and contributions to this project from the outset. Through our collaboration, we have enabled thousands of SMEs to access international markets and facilitated the establishment of numerous international commercial, technological, innovative, and sustainable partnerships.

The Enterprise Europe Network project has not only enabled significant development in our SMEs but has also provided important support to the organizational structure, services, and personnel training of the Istanbul Chamber of Industry, and I am sure all institutions involved in the project. Therefore, the Enterprise Europe Network plays an important role in improving both our companies and the quality of our services."

Speaking at the opening of the meeting, KOSGEB President Ahmet Serdar İbrahimcioğlu said:

KOSGEB Başkanı Ahmet
Serdar İbrahimcioğlu

"One of the most discussed topics today is sustainable development goals. In line with these goals, KOSGEB has recently launched a support program for the green industry, which we introduced two months ago, and on the other hand, a support program for SMEs' digitalization. Under the green industry program, we have implemented a 250 million dollars project to support all projects that will contribute to sustainable development goals such as carbon footprint calculations, increasing energy efficiency in the manufacturing sector, and water conservation. Within the scope of this program, nearly 1000 of our companies, small and medium-sized manufacturers, have applied so far. Continuing the process we conducted with the World Bank, we have also recently announced a program in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to transfer 300 million euros to banks as a resource. Moreover, if the companies approved by KOSGEB utilize these loans from these banks, we will support them with interest subsidies.

Our progress towards sustainable development goals dates back to 7 years ago. KOSGEP was established in 1973 through a protocol between the United Nations and the Turkish government of the time. And all the grant funds are actually provided by the United Nations, an international institution. Therefore, our international process, which started with the United Nations, dates back 50 years, not just 20 years in the European Union processes. Therefore, when our institution was first established, it was KOSGEB's duty to develop SMEs compatible with international supply chains and to integrate its industrialists into international supply chains. We continue to stand by SMEs to fulfill this duty.."

EISMEA Sektör Başkanı
Muriel de Grande

Muriel de Grande, Sector Manager of EISMEA, also spoke at the opening of the meeting:

“Visiting Istanbul is always a delight for me. Istanbul holds a special place in my heart, both personally and for Türkiye as a whole. With its rich history, architecture, and vibrant culture, it provides a perfect environment to come together, exchange ideas, and highlight the successes of the Enterprise Europe Network in Türkiye. Türkiye holds a truly strong and significant presence within the AIA project. You have been part of our AIA network from the early programs, and of course, you are also included in the partnership agreement signed with Single Market. You have been our partner in the AIA network from the very beginning.

This network officially began 15 years ago. You are indeed a crucial member of the AIA. You have 10 consortia covering different geographical regions of Türkiye. You have 50 organizations representing various disciplines, such as chambers of commerce, public or private consultancy firms, universities and research institutes, regional or national development agencies, and other government institutions. We believe that you will be very active in the European Initiatives, which provide in-depth services in four main areas: sustainability support, innovation management, digitization, and resilience. Today, my colleague Georgios Roussos and I will present two main points later on: the Single Market Program, the KOZME AIA Perspective, and secondly, the Performance of the Türkiye AIA Consortium. In addition to our presentations and those covering the enhancement of the AIA's efficiency and effectiveness, we will also address operational issues related to your daily work."

Following the opening speeches, the Enterprise Europe Network Türkiye National Meeting continued with presentations by representatives of consortium member organizations.